Petition to grant work permits for Health Care Assistants in Ireland

Petition to grant work permits for Health Care Assistants in Ireland

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Bruno Ramos started this petition to Irish Government and

Petition to grant work permits for Health Care Assistants in Ireland

In many elderly care settings in Ireland, a majority of Health Care Assistants (HCAs) are immigrants. We have been hailed as ''national heroes'' working longer hours and helping to protect the wider community in Ireland since the beginning of this COVID-19 pandemic that has held so many of us hostage this year. Like everyone, we are dealing with the stress of restrictions on mobility, family and social life. Unlike others, we also face uncertainty regarding our work permit status.

My story

I am a qualified ICU nurse from Brazil. I arrived here in February 2018 in order to improve my English while continuing to work in the healthcare field. I have worked in nursing homes and homecare in Dublin taking care of elderly people throughout the Covid 19 pandemic. I love my work and my patients – Ireland feels like home and patients become like family.

Current Issues

Although there is a shortage of professional HCAs in Ireland, the profession falls under the category of "INELIGIBLE" for employment permits for workers outside the European Economic Area (EEA), even though Ireland’s elderly population is increasing annually. According to the Institute for Economic and Social Research (ESRI), by 2030:

The share of population aged 65 and over is projected to increase from one in eight to one in six;
Numbers of people aged 85 and over are projected to almost double;
Demand for health and social care is projected to increase across all sectors, with the greatest increases for services for older people;
Demand for home help care and for residential and intermediate care places in nursing homes and other settings is projected to increase by up to 54 per cent;
Source: https://www.esri.ie/news/demand-for-healthcare-projected-to-increase-substantially-with-rapid-growth-and-ageing-of

Potential Solutions

Ireland does not have an immigration process like Canada, for example which includes an English exam for HCAs.  France has also recently recognized the sacrifices of foreign health workers during the pandemic and has intensified its requests for citizenship to reward those who worked during the pandemic and in Ireland. Surely Ireland could also find a solution?

What do we want to achieve?

1) Direct work / citizenship visa for "national heroes" as a courtesy to those who worked and continue to work hard amid the chaos in the COVID - 19 crisis

2) Speed up the visa process for newly arrived HCAs, in view of the dire situation

3) Create a programme similar to Canada where HCAs with a job offer can take an exam in English as part of the work permit application process

4) Consider reducing / dispensing the GNIB / Visa fee for "national heroes"

Links to further information:

https://www.rte.ie/radio1/today-with-sean-o-rourke/programmes/2018/0905/991746-today-with-sean-orourke-wednesday-5-september-2018/?clipid=102918670

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/coronavirus-nursing-homes-warn-of-danger-if-hse-poach-their-staff-1.4199134 

Nursing homes facing 'significant challenges' HSE Chief Operations Officer Anne O'Connor discusses the spread of Covid-19 in nursing homes: https://www.rte.ie/radio1/news-at-one/#103531092

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/22/world/europe/france-naturalization-covid-frontline.html

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!